Apple Tree Yard

Apple Tree Yard Information

Apple Tree Yard is a British television thriller, adapted from the novel of the same name by Louise Doughty. The four-part series was commissioned in 2016 and the first episode had its premiere on BBC One on 22 January 2017. Emily Watson stars as the novel's original lead, Dr Yvonne Carmichael, with Ben Chaplin portraying the role of her lover, Mark Costley. Apple Tree Yard follows the story of Carmichael, an unhappily married forty-something scientist, who begins a secret affair with Costley whilst being completely unaware of his true identity.


  • Emily Watson as Dr Yvonne Carmichael
  • Ben Chaplin as Mark Costley
  • Mark Bonnar as Dr Gary Carmichael
  • Steven Elder as George Selway
  • Kezia Burrows as Kate Costley
  • Susan Lynch as Susannah
  • Franc Ashman as Liz
  • Laure Stockley as Rosa
  • Olivia Vinall as Carrie
  • Assad Zaman as Sathnam
  • Robin Morrissey as Jamie
  • Jack Hamilton as Adam
  • Grace Carey as Maddie
  • Beth Chalmers as Sally
  • Jim Creighton as Jake
  • Alexis Conran as Harry
  • Susannah Doyle as Marcia
  • Darren Morfitt as Kevin
  • Rhashan Stone as Robert
  • Frances Tomelty as Price


One summer afternoon, after giving a presentation in the House of Commons, Dr Yvonne Carmichael (Emily Watson), a scientist at the Beaufort institute, meets a mysterious man (Ben Chaplin), who begins to charm her by offering her a tour of the Secret Chapel of the Commons. During the tour, the pair take an instant liking to one another, and end up having sex together in a broom cupboard. Unaware that she will ever encounter her mystery lover again, and with her failing marriage to Gary (Mark Bonnar) barely hanging on by a thread, Yvonne begins to compose secret letters which play out a fantasy relationship involving Mr X. The next day Yvonne retraces her steps, with the hope of bumping into Mr. X once more. Sitting in a caf opposite the Commons, she notices Mr. X and invites him for coffee. Having both been thrilled by their previous encounter, the pair end up having sex in the caf toilets. After sex, they exchange telephone numbers and agree to begin an illicit affair fuelled by the thrill of having sex in a public place. Yvonne becomes aware that her lover is unwilling to reveal his true identity, but begins to thrive on the thrill of the secret. One night, after meeting with Mr. X in Apple Tree Yard, Yvonne attends a leaving party for one of her colleagues. During the party she is approached by a long-term friend, George (Steven Elder), who reveals that he has harboured secret feelings for her for some time. When she rejects his advances, he rapes her brutally; this leaves Yvonne's world in pieces around her.

Following the brutal attack, Yvonne's world continues to collapse at her feet. Forced to take time away from work, she slowly begins to confide in Mr. X, who advises her to speak to a rape expert before she makes the decision on whether or not to report it to the police. She decides against taking the matter further, but also decides against continuing with the affair. After two weeks' absence from work, Yvonne decides to pluck up the courage to face her colleagues, but during the journey she realises that she cannot get the image of George out of her head. She later makes the decision to resign from her job and focus more on her personal life. However, when she discovers that Gary has spent the weekend away in bed with his intern, she completely abandons the idea of retirement and decides to reignite her affair with Mr. X. Slowly, however, she begins to notice that George isn't prepared to let matters lie, and is gradually beginning to stalk her. Although she initially ignores messages, emails and a bouquet of flowers, she is confronted with George in a local shop and, terrified, decides that enough is enough. When Mr. X offers to help her resolve the problem, she decides to accept the offer of help. She drives him to George's house and, staying in the car, Mr. X goes into George's house. When he returns, looking anxious, she drives him away and they eventually part company.

Shortly afterwards Yvonne is arrested and charged with the murder of George, as is Mr. X, now known as Mark Costley. During the ensuing trial process she believes Mark will protect her by not revealing their affair, but when expert evidence in his favour is undermined by the prosecutor, Mark allows his barrister to disclose their affair whilst cross-examining Yvonne, and she is shown to be lying under oath. Ultimately, however, her powerful testimony regarding the rape appears to be accepted by the jury, and she is found not guilty of murder or manslaughter"?though guilty of perjury, for which she receives a suspended sentence. Mark is found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Yvonne subsequently visits him in prison, where she recalls a moment (shown in flashback) when she asked Mark to kill George, and to smash George's face in. She says to Mark that she realises he has a personality disorder that means he took her request more literally than she intended.


Regarding the rape scene involving Emily Watson and Steven Elder in the first episode, director Jessica Hobbs commented that the scene was "well researched" and reflected on testimony made by several real victims in order to make the scene as accurate as possible. Watson commented; "It was an incredibly hard day for everyone. We wanted to be very sudden and very real. The people we spoke to described it as an out of body experience and so we tried to reflect that." She also noted that having worked closely with Chaplin in the past, it made filming their consensual sex scenes easier: "We've known each other a long time, and we didn't want to fumble about, waiting for someone to shout 'Cut!', which usually happens. We plotted and planned every detail. We wanted it to be realistic - what would it be like in that situation, in a cupboard with a complete stranger? Which was great. I'd never laughed so much and it felt... empowering!"

However, the rape scene was heavily criticised by several victim support organisations, with Rape Crisis England and Wales spokeswoman Katie Russell branding the scene "harrowing". A spokesperson for the series commented that; "The rape scene is an integral part of the leading character's story, faithful to the text of the best-selling novel. The drama goes on to raise important, complex questions about the consequences of sexual violence, exploring the emotional and psychological implications for her. It transmitted in a post watershed slot and there was a warning prior to broadcast and the BBC action line was given at the end for any viewers who were affected."


(No permanent link available. Search for relevant dates.)</ref> |episodes=
|Viewers         = 8.80
|ShortSummary    = Dr Yvonne Carmichael seems to have it all - a respected career, a beautiful home and family. However, nothing is ever as it appears, and when she receives an unexpected proposition from an enigmatic stranger, Yvonne is shocked by the passion he awakens in her. But gradually she begins to realise that there is much more to her lover than meets the eye, and she could be playing a very dangerous game indeed.
|LineColor       = FF623B
}} </ref>

|DirectedBy      = Jessica Hobbs
|WrittenBy       = Amanda Coe
|OriginalAirDate = 
|Viewers         = 8.08
|ShortSummary    = In the aftermath of what has happened, a devastated Yvonne shuts down. She feels unable to talk to the police or her husband, but as a campaign of terror is mounted against her, she is pushed to her limits and turns to her former lover, Costley, for advice. They meet for one last time and share a passionate afternoon together, before Costley takes control of the situation and Yvonne is plunged from one nightmare into another.
|LineColor       = FF623B
}} </ref>

|DirectedBy      = Jessica Hobbs
|WrittenBy       = Amanda Coe
|OriginalAirDate = 
|Viewers         = 8.12
|ShortSummary    = Yvonne's life is turned upside down yet again, when she is ripped away from her family and arrested for murder. In shock, Yvonne denies everything, but the police are convinced that she and Costley colluded in cold blood. Their trial begins and very quickly Yvonne realises that everything she thought she knew about her lover was a lie. And right now he's all that's standing between her and a prison sentence.
|LineColor       = FF623B
}} </ref>

|DirectedBy      = Jessica Hobbs
|WrittenBy       = Amanda Coe
|OriginalAirDate = 
|Viewers         = 7.33
|ShortSummary    = What starts out as a simple, reckless mid-life affair between a genetic scientist named Yvonne and a Westminster paper pusher takes an intriguing turn when she realizes he's a spook - then suddenly gets very dark indeed. A provocative study of obsession, longing and just how far down a criminal path desire can take you.
|LineColor       = FF623B
}} }}

Home media release

The four-part series was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 20 February 2017.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Apple_Tree_Yard" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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